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State to hand over house to Kiptum's family on Thursday

 Construction works at Kelvin Kiptum's property in Ainabkoi constituency, Uasin Gishu county. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

The house being constructed for the family of marathon World Record holder Kelvin Kiptum will officially be handed over by the government on Thursday. 

Kiptum will be laid to rest at his new home in Cherunya, Lotonyok area in Ainabkoi constituency, Uasin Gishu county. 

A funeral service will be held at Kiptum's parent's home in Chepsamo, Elgeyo Marakwet county and thereafter his remains will be interred at the Cherunya home. 

Speaking during an inspection of the construction work on Sunday, Head of Public Service Felix Koskei said the government is involved in the funeral preparations for the late athletic champion. 

Koskei said Kiptum will be accorded a befitting sendoff. 

He announced that part of the government's contribution to the family of the late athlete is the construction of two houses - one for Kiptum's widow and another for his parents. 

Construction of the house for Kiptum's widow is expected to be complete by Thursday, while that of the parents, which is now at the foundation level, will take at least one month to be completed. 

"Kiptum's death is a tragic loss. A star that was shining has been dimmed," the Head of Public Service said. 

"I came to inspect the construction of the house for the widow and as directed yesterday, the house of the parents. All the experts including engineers and surveyors are here to ensure that we build a home that is near the dreams of Kiptum," he added. 

Koskei hailed Kiptum as a hero saying his death was a blow to all Kenyans and the rest of the world. 

"We have to ensure that the family is settled as part of the government's contribution at least before the funeral is held. So far, I am satisfied with the ongoing works here," he said. 

Koskei condoled with the family of the late Kiptum at their Chepsamo home in Elgeyo Marakwet county. 

He however declined to confirm whether it will be a state funeral, saying that the government will foot the expenses and ensure a good send-off for the late athletic champion. 

"The president might attend the funeral depending on his schedule. The government is on top of things," Koskei said. 

 Kelvin Kiptum's home in Chepsamo village, Keiyo South. [Peter Ochieng, Standard] 

At the site where construction of Kiptum's family house is ongoing, contractors were working to beat the deadline. 

Apart from the construction of the house, the planting of trees and flowers and the erecting of a gate have begun. 

Tota Richard, a senior director at the State Department for Housing and Urban Development said that the construction of the three-bedroom en suite house relies on a new technology, the first to be witnessed in the North Rift region. 

"The Light gauge steel is a combination of technology from various countries and aims at minimizing the use of concrete," noted Tota. 

He said construction works are now at past 50 per cent and piping and wiring works have already been done. 

"The construction of the house requires even less than seven days. We are working 24 hours a day and the instructions we have are that the house must be ready by latest Thursday morning," stated the director. 

He said by Monday, the construction works will be at around 80 per cent and nearing completion. 

Tota encouraged Kenyans to embrace technology in constructing their homes noting that it bears many advantages. 

"Let us not fear to embrace science. This is the way to go. This is like a printed 3D house that has attracted the attention of many people," he said. 

The position where the graveside will be located on the front right side of the house has also been identified. 

Tota said that at the site, they have blended tradition and modernity even in the construction of the parent's house.

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